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Reaction To “Pastoral Earthquake” At Vatican Meetings

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NANTICOKE -- Talks at a meeting of the pope and bishops in the Catholic Church is drawing worldwide attention and surprise as they discuss issues, including the further acceptance of gay and divorced Catholics.

Halfway through the conference, a report from their discussions is calling for a "more merciful approach."

It is a two-week meeting of bishops and the pope at the Vatican meant to discuss family issues that observers have called a "pastoral earthquake."

From the possibility of allowing the use of birth control, to being more open to unmarried couples living together, to becoming more welcoming to divorced and gay Catholics.

It comes months after Pope Francis said "who am I to judge" homosexuals.

In a report on the meeting's progress, the organizers said homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community.

At an event to raise awareness and acceptance for the gay community at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke, some students agree.

"In the LGBT community, we're not trying to judge others. It's more the other way, we try to accept everyone," said Pride Fest organizer Robert Antolik.

News of further acceptance in the Catholic Church is well received at Pride Fest at LCCC.

"I think it's wonderful because it's opening eyes."

"I think change is going to be a better thing for the Catholic Church and everything. If you open up to more possibilities, it will make yourself better along with the community," said LCCC student Brendan McCabe.

This is an event all about the acceptance of others and they're not only seeing that in the Catholic Church, but in society as a whole, and they say that is a good thing.

"It's a cool atmosphere because everyone values the same sort of thing: equality," said LCCC student Angelina Rovinski.

There's a whole week of Pride fest activities at LCCC, a celebration of sorts of greater acceptance, even from some at the Vatican.

"To be able to support something that I firmly believe in, it's amazing," said LCCC student Todd Hawe.

The Vatican issued a statement Tuesday to clarify the report coming out of those meetings of the pope and bishops saying that these are just discussions and not any final decisions.

The meetings have also made it very clear that while a tone might change, church teachings and rules themselves would not be altered.

16 comments

  • PennDot Skip'm or chip'm

    I can’t speak for PennDot on this issue, all I can speak for are the roads that have been skipped or chipped. We are all in favor of dealing with deeper issues and not merely things on the surface.

  • John Rovenolt

    Admittedly, I don’t live in that area but have family roots over in Montour and Northumberland Counties. To me, the police greatly prefer the common law abiding citizens of any jurisdiction to stay clear of any search operations or ground investigations regarding an armed suspect of any kind. Why do you ask anyway? Are you gay and want to become a “Keystone Cop”? We pay them through taxes “to protect and serve” so why should I as a citizen “obstruct and pest”?

      • John Rovenolt

        In answering this question “yes”, and that could be the truth, I would know a homophobe like me when I read it in your writings. Drink some coffee over that for a moment. And what difference does it make if I am not? For we should be what we are in being honest to ourselves. I sense, sir, you have a Christian background of some sort as I do—as a fellow believer in the Creator, please ponder John 3:17, one of the more well known and helpful Biblical verses for daily living: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

      • PennDot Skip'm or chip'm

        Interesting. When you get a chance, could you provide me with any verses about homosexuality? Does God condone it and if not, is that homophobic?

  • Lumps and Chunks

    Where did WNEP find the BLT for the interview? Isn’t a BLT a sandwich? He or whatever it is is normal? Where does that lisp come from?
    Why are these people the experts on fashion, color and interior design? Will I be an expert if I become a BLT?

    • PennDot Skip'm or chip'm

      They should be more concerned with roads and bridges and shovel ready jobs. That’s what the highway reinvestment act was all about. I’m tired of these empty promises that Casey makes with that drowsy monotone.

    • agentdanni

      You’d be amazed where LGBT individuals are. You deal with products we create and maintain every day, including a lot that you don’t even realize you’re using (a favorite for my work is the software that is used by many credit banks and insurance companies to analyze transitions for signs of fraud.)

      • John Rovenolt

        In response to “agentdanni”, I concur greatly. I live in Hampton, Va. following the Frein manhunt since my families are native to Central Pennsylvania. Regarding the post, I know of a man, a very good guy, who is in a field that is very non-stereotypical of a gay man and he has such a big client base that his work days can be 12-14 days long. He is the sole proprietor of a heating and air conditioning business. If asked by anyone, not just a customer, he says he is “unashamedly gay” (he holds no reservations about who he is) — that is the way the God I know wants us to be – what Pope Francis I sort of wants is that same feeling inspired in all of God’s children worldwide – being happy how we are created and how best we can do great deeds to other people in His world.

  • Randall Cizenski

    What does “more merciful approach” mean? What does ALL of this mean?

    Simply put, the church will no longer shun or look at gay and divorced people as “persona non grata.” they will view them as humans, as people, and not dismiss them out of hand simply because they made – what the church would consider – a ‘bad’ decision by either ‘choosing’ to be gay (the church will probably never accept the possibility that human beings can be born gay due to some sort of as yet unidentified gene or DNA sequence) or deciding to divorce instead of the two people finding a way to compromise and remain married. That these people were created by God and, although in the eyes of the church, they made bad decisions in their life it doesn’t mean they do not have valuable input on life and the betterment of the human condition.

  • Mike Loncoski

    The LGBT community should not get too excited. Nothing will change in Doctrine or Laws of the Church, but their will be a more merciful attitude. Homosexual acts will still be a mortal sin and same sex marriage will never take place in the Catholic Church. Yes Jesus will forgive our sins but He also said “go and sin no more”.

    • John Rovenolt

      I am not sure Mr. Loncoski if you are accepting/tolerant of LGBT folks or an outright bigoted homophobe? Just curious? I am unashamedly gay and I know that the God of my understands loves, cares, and watches over me every day.

    • John Rovenolt

      I just reread your message. The very last line of verbiage tells me you are definitely homophobic. Please reread your Bible and discuss this verse with your clergyman: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” —John 3:17

  • John Rovenolt

    I am not affiliated with the Catholic Church right now, but this statement is a long time coming. The people should remember John 3:17: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Makes sense to me—God LOVES US ALL!

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